Drones patrolling coast at Cottesloe and City Beach

Surf Life Saving WA drone pilot Konrad Siedl with a Westpac drone at Cottesloe Beach last Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Surf Life Saving WA drone pilot Konrad Siedl with a Westpac drone at Cottesloe Beach last Saturday. Photo: Supplied

BANK-SPONSORED drones have arrived to augment Surf Life Saving WA’s own aerial patrols using the remote controlled aircraft at Cottesloe and City beaches.

“Families can now enjoy their time at the beach knowing this innovative technology will help to spot rips, distressed swimmers and potential hazards in the water,” Westpac Claremont manager Hilda Kang said.

Cottesloe’s and City Beach’s drones were delivered last Saturday.

They are part of a squadron of seven also operating at Fremantle, Secret Harbour, Mullaloo and Trigg in Perth, as well as Meelup and Smith beaches in the South West

Their flights will also provide training, research and development of how to use the small aircraft on the coast.

The drones give surf lifesavers vision of swimmers and surveillance of beach conditions, and add to those used by Surf Lifesaving WA since 2016.

“The improved situational awareness that drones can add to other localised surveillance activity such as beach patrols, will also complement the regional role performed by our Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter service, proving them an invaluable lifesaving asset,” Surf Lifesaving WA general manager Chris Peck said.